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Introducing our new ACC Network: Matt Fitzpatrick

Tell us something about yourself?

Well that is quite a question.  Those who know my background may call me a "Career Scout", from all that time ago as a Beaver, to surviving Network, and now to lead and shape the future of Network as a member of Team Merseyside.

Outside of Scouts, I'm very much about all things outdoor.  Whether it be on my bike(s), walking, running, canoe or kayaking, basically, if it involves being out and about you can count me in.  Most of all, I am Fitz (I'm Matt in work), I'm all about positivity and progression.  There will always be a challenge, and that's what makes all of life exciting. 

What motivated you to take upon the role of ACC Network?

My motivation for taking on the role of ACC for Network was very much about how I can continue the growth of the section as a whole, but to also renew stability as that growth occurs.  Secondly, I have wanted to work harder in giving those members the opportunity to not only gain top awards, but to find their own adventure within a more social side of Scouting.  Network are at a fantastic age that we can help provide structure and programme for those achievements, as well as offering a sociability that lets those who are also active leaders to, well, network.  

What will your role consist of?

My role will fully consist of guiding and supporting a programme for all Network Units within Merseyside, as well as directly supporting the DSNC's themselves.  More than this, I can be a guiding hand if general support is needed but I will also try and remain sociable and approachable by all.  Network is fortunate that there is no truly defined, single goal. This allows members the ability to carve their own path and make all achievement truly their own.  To truly sum up what my role is within one sentence, I feel is somewhat impossible,but here we go;

As ACC for Network, I will facilitate, support and guide programmes throughout Merseyside, as well as ensuring that Network don't miss out on the fun, adventure and social moments that will help shape them for the future.

How does it feel being appointed ACC Network?

Well the simple answer is; Amazing

Ok, to expand a little.  It's a fantastic opportunity to help keep one of the youngest sections (I know, of the oldest youth members) grow, and thrive.  Our future leaders are spotted in Explorers, but in Network they are truly moulded and defined.  I cannot wait.

What was your highlight as a network member yourself?

 My highlight as a Network member, now that is truly hard to pinpoint if I'm honest.  Mainly because I have so many.  The top one I would have to say was achieving my QSA, that was a moment when it really hit home that all the hard work and time pays off.  Even with the achievement, some of the best memories with my local Network were always the impromptu meet-ups just to see how we were all doing.  In some ways, by doing seemingly nothing at all, we achieved the most.  A contradiction in itself, but when we can all relate to the stresses of work and university, then have Network and Scouting that is the one thing that defines us and our greatest achievements, that is the best memory.

What advice would you give to young people?

My advice to young people, admittedly I'm taking this from a late teacher of mine, who gave me my drive to do all this:

"Go with your heart, and don't let people tell you that you can't.  Challenges are that for a reason, even if you fail once, don't let it consume you.  Reflect on what wasn't right and you will become better in yourself."

I faced many challenges to get to where I am today, and there were failings along the way.  In some ways they define me as we all learn a more valuable lesson from those.  My only other advice, and handily our motto; Be prepared.  Words I truly live by.